Members of the Eurobodalla community have sought the support of Mark Banasiak, MLC, the member of the Shooters, Fishers and Farmers Party, Legislative Council, Parliament of New South Wales, to advocate for them on Council's intention to remove the Clyde Street boat ramp as a facility for recreational fishers as well as primary access for the local oyster industry, tourism and marine agency access.
Mark told The Beagle "The Shooters Fishers and Farmers Party stand with the recreational fishers of Eurobodalla, Recreational Fishing Alliance and Boat Owners Association; in opposing the removal of the Lions Park boat ramp in Batemans Bay." "The ramp is to be lost and replaced by a toilet of all things," said the SFF MLC "The loss of the safe access ramp for recreational fishers and boaters’ forms part of the Eurobodalla Shire council's foreshore redevelopment plan. The new plan forces boat users into using an unsafe boat ramp (Old Punt Road) that is under constant threat of washing away due to the construction of the new bridge". "Concerns were expressed to me by local fishermen and boat users about the redevelopment. "I attempted to reach out to the local mayor in good faith to discuss where recreational fishermen and boaters were being included in the plan. "The mayor's refusal to respond is both disappointing and telling. "What is now clear is that this is a social closure by an elitist council who is turning it's back on the town's history and love of fishing and boating. "Two activities that have been significant contributors to the local economy through tourism. Not to mention the contribution oyster farmers who utilise this ramp have made to the local economy. "I have seen correspondence from some of the local oyster farmers to the council. It was scathing of both this decision and other failings of the council to support local businesses. "What is equally disappointing is the deafening silence from the local state member Andrew Constance whose portfolio encompasses maritime. "Questions I asked in budget estimates about the future of the ramps brought nothing but the usual empty platitudes that I have come to expect from this minister. "The registration fees of boat owners built these boat ramps. "There should be compensation by fee reimbursement if council wish to persist with the removal of the boat ramp. "Alternatively, Andrew Constance can stand alongside the fishermen and boaters of the area and insist that the ramp stay and prove his answers in estimates were not hollow," said Mr Banasiak.